Antwerp at a Glance
Moving to Antwerp123RF
Antwerp's impressive town hall is at the heart of the old city.
Moving to Antwerp will put you in a city which is already very accustomed to multiculturalism. After the Second World War, the city saw an influx of Spanish and Moroccan immigrants. Today, Moroccan, Dutch, Turkish and Polish nationals make up the largest groups of foreigners living in Antwerp. French and Germans are also numerously represented in the city, followed by expats of British, American, and Israeli nationalities. Wherever you come from, moving here should not be as daunting after recognizing the number of foreign communities already in the city!
Visa Requirements for Antwerp
The first things any expat has to think about when relocating are the administrative issues associated with the change. How easy moving to Antwerp is for you will depend largely on whether or not you are an EU/EEA citizen. If you are, then you don’t need a visa to enter or work in Belgium. If you are a non-EU citizen, things might be slightly more complicated.
You will need to check, firstly, whether your country has a visa waiver agreement with Belgium. In order to do so, you should inquire at your nearest Belgian embassy or consulate in your country of residence. The Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation has a search engine for Belgian missions abroad on their website.
You will then need to apply for either a long-term or a short-term visa, depending on the length of your stay in Belgium. These applications must be sent to your nearest Belgian mission before you set about moving to Antwerp. All of the official information required for visas for Belgium can be found on the Belgian Foreign Affairs website.
Different Visas for Antwerp
Different visas are available depending on the purpose of your stay. No matter which visa you need, you will have to pay an administrative fee of €180. If you are moving to Antwerp for business or work reasons, you will have to choose one of the following visas:
For full details of all of these visa types, please see our moving to Brussels pages.
This visa is applicable if your stay in Antwerp will be for a limited amount of time (up to 90 days), for any reason, and you are a third-state national. A Schengen visa will cost you €60, and will take three to four weeks to process. If the purpose of your visit is business, and you have applied for a Schengen visa, you will also need a letter of invitation from a Belgian company, to verify the purpose of your stay.
Registering as a Resident in Antwerp
If you will be remaining in Antwerp for more than three months, you must register with your local municipal authority within eight days of your arrival. Bring a proof of residence (either a rental agreement or bank details) with you when you register. To confirm your home address, a police officer will make a visit.
After this, you will receive an electronic identity card. Belgium has recently updated its residence cards to comply with EU standards. The new electronic cards contain biometric data on a chip, and serve as a certificate of inscription, a residence permit and an identity card. After receiving this card, you will have successfully completed moving to Antwerp.